The Fable of Wolf and Hound

At night, a hound left its body, its cage and the laboratory and
went for a walk in the woods. There he met a wolf, who said: There
is nothing new, thus one can only deal with what already exists. But
then how do you think about what you do? asked the hound.
Ironically, said the wolf. I understand, answered the hound, now I
must take my leave. Tomorrow will be a long day and I must die. Just
one thing more : I, too, have already seen everything, but it was so
dark that I couldn't recognize anything.

"Revolt of the Pets" (p.13 ff)

by Thomas Macho

(3. Slaughter animals and lap dogs)

Only the transformations in the order of human life which were brought
about by the Industrial Revolution have put an end to the to the
agrarian game of animal-human ambivalences and metamorphoses. At least
since the end of the eighteenth century, historically strongly rooted
traditions have been replaced by functional institutionalisation
processes; the estate system of societies were surmounted by a society
of "disciplines" (after Foucault1). In place of birth rights came
general human rights; in place of extremely diversified hierarchies,
interest groups, open to compromise; regionally differing training
systems (endo-socialisation) were replaced by literacy programmes and
compulsory education (exo-socialisation2); the old standing army
through the levee en masse. Sedentary tendencies increasingly lost
their importance in favour of a new mobility that had to be orientated
on the migration movements of capital (as it was earlier on the roaming
of livestock herds); diachronic views and genealogic principles were
relativised or completely overridden by synchronous perspectives (such
as in the horizon of media-technological networking processes). The
agrarian logic of differentiations was robbed of power by
egalitarianist homoginisation impulses. "Modernisation" – this is the
title we have given to the transition between two social systems: the
transition from the agrarian revolution to industrial society. "The
first of these constitutes a social order that propagates cultural
difference and externalises a complex system of roles, whereas in an
industrial society mobility, anonymity and the semantic character of
human work dominate life."3

The Industrial Revolution owed its unparalleled dynamic to the
boundless use of fossil energy sources (such as coal and oil). These
substances offered much more energy for human use than could ever have
been achieved through the conventional solar energy system. This
provided an amount of fuel, well above that which could be obtained
from renewable biomass. This is historically unique – and perhaps also
in the earth’s history. There may have been agrarian societies from
time to time, which used more wood than would regrow on their
territories in the same time, but this sort of behaviour would have
been fairly quickly punished by a rapid deterioration in forest stand,
so that a whole social structure could not be established here.
Persistent overuse of the ground would also be comparable to this, in
that it allows, for a short time, more food to be produced than the
ground really yields. At some point the actual capacity of the land
makes itself felt through clear reductions in harvest." As we now know,
the resources of fossil fuels are not inexhaustible, but they are not
currently limited. Therefore a superfluous abundance of energy must be
seen as an important "characteristic of the fossil energy system",
while certain attributes of hunter-gatherers and of agrarian societies
can be traced back to the fact "that energy had to be used particularly
economically". Only the "huge abundance of energy in the industrial
system led to the formation of behavioural structures which seemed
absurd as far as energy was concerned. Transport problems, which in
agrarian societies could only be solved by careful planning (and the
active application of animals), could be dealt with wastefully for
years in an industrial age. "If settlement and the special structures
in solar energetic societies were constructed on the principle of
minimising transport times (and costs), at least since the
implementation of the mineral oil economy, transport became an almost
cost-free affair. In the development of transport systems, energy
consumption is no longer of consequence." Even in agriculture much more
fossil fuel was invested than could be regained. Under the conditions
of industrialism, agriculture stopped cultivating a solar energy system
for energy production in order to transform itself into a fossil fuel
system of simple material conversion: "it converts carbon dioxide,
water and minerals into more or less tasty food, whereupon the energy
source is on balance fossil."4

Obviously the cultural perception of animals began to change
dramatically in the course of implementation of industrial forms of
life and organisation. The unlimited use of fossil energy sources meant
first of all that much of the work done by animals could be completely
substituted. Oxen were replaced by tractors, combine harvesters and
other agricultural machinery; goats and sheep through the production of
synthetic clothing. The cavalry was exchanged for tank divisions;
increasingly, the once "knightly", militarily idealised animals were
degraded to draught animals, which were at best used to pull the field
kitchen, in which they would be cooked and fed to the soldiers if the
need arose. The coaches gave way to engines and automobiles, pack
animals to cranes and bulldozers, messenger pigeons to computers and
telephones. If one wished to express the basic tendency succinctly, a
main theme would have to be the outdoing of agrarian machines by
"automatic" industrial machines, which work, as far as possible,
independently. This "improvement" of agrarian machines can be described
as a progressive elimination of animals. For somewhat more than two
centuries a creeping exclusion of animals from all relevant social
spheres has taken place; and anyone now protesting in the name of their
Persian cat or canary does not even know what we are talking about any
more. Some new fields of activity have opened up for livestock and pets
– for example in drug detection; yet it is easy to imagine that this
"occupational therapy" for otherwise "unemployed" German Shepherds
could also soon be rendered redundant through perfected drug detectors.

The social elimination of useful animals reduced suddenly reduced
animals to a single function, which no wild or companion animal has
ever had to fulfil on a comparable scale: the function of mass
slaughter animals. As soon as animals were no longer needed, they could
be eaten; all breeding interests could be brought down to one common
denominator as soon as it was clear that the animals would not have to
achieve anything else besides becoming big and fat so that they could
land in the pan as a steak or cutlet. The slaughterhouse created the
precise pendent of energy abundance, which was made possible through
the use of fossil fuels: a sheer tireless enterprise for the production
of meat for food; sacrificial machinery without any sacrificial ritual.
Napoleon Bonaparte had the first slaughterhouses built in Paris: his
decree, with which he ordered the erection of public slaughterhouses,
was issued in 1807. All butchers were obliged not to slaughter in any
other place. "In this way, five slaughterhouses were built outside of
the old city walls, three north and two to the south of the Seine. In
1810 Napoleon issued a second decree in which he demanded that public
slaughterhouses should be built in all towns in France." Only fifty
years later intensive efforts were made to replace the Napoleonic
abattoirs with more functional newer developments. George Eugéne
Haussmann, the powerful prefect of the Seine department, invested more
than twenty three million Francs in the erection of the central
abattoir La Villette, which was opened on 1st January 1867 – the year
of the Parisian World Exhibition. La Villette was "the first central
slaughterhouse for a population of a million. According to Haussmann’s
own statement, its stalls had room for as many animals as Paris ate in
a day". In his memoirs, Haussmann noted that the "large complex" was
one "of the most important works carried out by my administration, of
the same rank as the building of major roads". At the same time as
Haussmann had the central abattoir planned and built however, a ruling
was made in Chicago to build the biggest combined livestock market and
slaughterhouse of its time – the so-called Union Stock Yards. Soon over
five million pigs a year were slaughtered in its labyrinthine wooden
halls and sheds, linked by passages, streets, staircases, suspension
bridges; crossed with more than a hundred miles of railway tracks. The
daily capacity of the facility was even then "around two hundred
thousand pigs, a number that La Villette never reached within a year
during the same period". Assembly line slaughter. As Sigfrid Giedion
emphasised, in the slaughterhouses of Cincinnati and Chicago mechanised
mass extermination was developed and tried out, which – as the
"mechanis ation of killing" – by the Second World War made it possible
that whole classes of the population were rendered as defenceless as
the slaughter animals, which hung head-down from the conveyor belt, and
annihilated with practised neutrality".5 Humanity has always done unto
itself, what it cares to do unto animals.

The rapid expansion of slaughterhouses in France and America
corresponded on the other hand with an equally striking increase in a
love of animals and downright nostalgic zoophilia. The latterly
"useless" domestic animals returned to the metropolises as zoo and lap
animals, as idealised "pets". Maurice Agulhon has analysed this
process, which by the revolution of 1830 had began to establish itself:
"At the time of the July-Monarchy the martyrdom of the horse, the cart
horses who, reined to carriages or heavy wagons, were subjected to
abuse by brutal carters, had become almost commonplace. One could get
the impression that all the coach companies of Paris had delivered
their horses to a coarse, rough, unqualified sub-proletariat, which
knew no instrument other than the whip and insults; we still have the
slang expression "jurer comme un charretier" ("cursing like a carter").
If a horse fell to the ground under an excessive weight or because of
an acciden! t, the carter did not help the animal by de-reining it or
lightening its load; he forced it to stagger back on its feet with
kicks to the stomach".6 Many poets have hauntingly described these
scenes: Victor Hugo, Eugène Sue and especially Dostoyevsky.7 Literary
accounts combined with public animal welfare debates created "countless
images of this type, as if they were as common in the big cities of
1840 as traffic jams and ‘road accidents with body damage‘ are today".8
The comparison is telling – it broaches the issue of a possible
connection between the sympathy for the horses and the technological
revolution in transport, which would actually lead to beasts of burden
and draught animals being completely replaced. Even before the first
law to protect domestic animals, in particular horses, was passed – on
the initiative of General Jacques-Philippe Delmas de Grammont im 1850 –
the first railway trains were already running. A steam engine began to
operate be! tween Darlington and Stockton (England) in 1825; the first
continental railway was established between Brussels and Mecheln
in1835. The Leipzig – Dresden route (115 km) was opened in 1839and by
1850 Germany had over 5470 km of railway tracks. In the year 1868,
shortly after the opening of La Villette, the first "motorbike" was
introduced – a steam powered engine aboard a bicycle frame. From now on
vehicles that ran on their own machine power could drive forward,
whilst the horses disappeared from the townscape. Not coincidently were
the horse drawn trams (in mining) the actual model for railways; not
coincidently is the capacity of an automobile still measured in

The animals (or humans) were overtaken by the new type of machine. The
draught animals’ power to work, built up and sustained through food,
which in turn was produced by the (more or less intensively influenced)
cycle of the solar energetic system, could be substituted by fossil
energy: coal, petrol, all types of fuels. In a way the power output of
living animals (or humans) was replaced by the power output of once
living plants or animals. If one wanted to hazard a speculation, one
would have to argue that the "dead animals" have prevailed over the
"living animals".


1 Cf. eg: Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, transl. Alan Sheridan. Penguin New Ed., 1991.

2 Ernest Geller attempted to trace the distinctions between agrarian and industrial societies especially through the difference between endo and
exosocialisation. Cf. Ernest Geller, Nationalismus and Moderne, Berlin, 1991.

3 Ernest Gellner, Jenseits des Nationalismus? Kulturelle Homogenität und Vielfalt in modernen Gesellschaften. (IKUS-Lectures 3+4. Vienna,
Institut für Kulturstudien, 1992) p.39.

4 Rolf Peter Sieferle, Der unterirdische Wald. Energiekrise und Industrielle Revolutio, Munich, 1982, pp.62-64

5 Sigfried Giedion, Die Herrschaft der Mechanisierung. Ein Beitrag zur anonymen Geschichte, Frankfurt/Main, 1982, pp. 238-241 and 277.

6 Maurice Agulhon: Das Blut der Tiere. Das Problem des Tierschutzes im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhunderts. (Der vagabundierende Blick. Für ein
neues Verständnis politischer Geschichtsschreibung, Frankfurt, Fischer 1995) p. 119, transl. Michael Bischoff.

7 Cf. Raskolnikov’s dream of horses being killed in the first part of Crime and Punishment: Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment, transl.
David McDuff , Penguin Classics, 2003.

8 Maurice Agulhon: Das Blut der Tiere, l.c., p. 119.

"Das Mensch-Tier-Verhältnis in der kritischen Theorie"

by Moshe Zuckermann

Civilisation, in the sense of the reproduction of conditions
necessary for the continued existence of humanity, has always
involved the domination of nature. This domination necessarily
involved alienation from nature. Out of this also follows the
suppression of the internal nature, and consequently the
physiological impulses of the human as an animal. The human's
alienation from his or her self is not least due to this. (...)
One can devise a philosophy of animals and ask whether the human or
the animal is being referred to. For the Frankfurter School, I
would say that both movements are there: one which basically speaks
about the animal in order to speak about humans; and another, which
naturally never puts itself in the position of the animal, but
which does imagine the animal in it's way of being.
The first says: how nice it would be if we were just like the
animal! Which, for example, means to imagine a world in which the
incomprehensible would enable humans the devotion to their Other.
That would entail worshipping a topos of the Romantic - the self-
oblivion, the devotion to the objective as animal existence. (...)
This is the condition which is offered as the antithesis to the
thesis of the conscious being. (...)

A different question entirely would be, whether the Frankfurter
School also intend to speak about the animal itself here. But how
could the human do anything other than speak about animals as a
human? Which conception could there be to speak of animals in their
ontology and thus from the perspective of their animality? The
German philosophical nineteenth century offered the suggestion of
sympathy in connection with this. "Sympathy" implies a symmetry of
suffering. And this notion of sympathy with the Other, also with
the creature, is philosophically indebted to Schopenhauer - in a
major secular philosophy of compassion, which also addressed the
question of compassion towards animals. A major sin in killing
animals is to be found in the work of the perhaps most rigorous
Schopenhauer follower of the nineteenth century, in Richard Wagner.

Moshe Zuckermann 2002 "Das Mensch-Tier-Verhältnis in der kritischen
Theorie" p24.ff. From "Dem blutigen Zweck der Herrschaft ist die
Kreatur nur Mateial" ,Ed. TAN, Hamburg

"Zur Verteidigung des tierlichen und menschlichen Individuums -
Das Widerstandsrecht als legitimer und vernünftiger Vorbehalt des
Individuums gegenüber dem Sozialen" (Excerpt)

by Melanie Bujok

The advancement of society to a better one always contained the germ
of repression as it was based on the domination of nature instead of
its comprehension.1 This central thesis of the Frankfurter School's
critical theory encompassed a critique of the domination of animals,2
which according to Marcuse, means "directing mastery toward
liberation"3. And that demands that the technical reshaping of nature
and its historical results of the "twofold domination of nature"
must evoke a twofold liberation of nature: the liberation of the
'inner nature' of humans from the repressive social constraints that
appear to be 'second nature', as well as the liberation of men's
'outer nature' - and so, stringently taking the thought further, the
liberation of animals. In Horkheimer and Adorno's critical theory,
liberation requires the will to the intellectual negation of the
status quo, non-conformity (in Marcuse also political resistance),
which sees through the deception of sacrificing animal and human
individuals for the unreasonable society. The deception is that the
domination of nature does not eliminate the blind natural context in
order to reconcile nature with itself through historical labour, but
that human society has conformed to the natural growth, imitated and
rationalised it.4 The appearance of progress through the domination
of nature also rationalised the domination and sacrifice of animals,
according to Horkheimer, Adorno and Marcuse; "and the rabbit
suffering the torment of the laboratory is seen not as a
representative but, mistakenly, as a mere exemplar."5 The institution
of sacrifice, a "historical catastrophe" an "act of violence, done
equally to human beings and to nature",6 is accepted in current
society, a quasi-natural part of its self-image. Acts of violence
against animals are consecrated as reasonable; in the sense of
advancement, even as necessary, according to the critique of the
Frankfurter School, because the human individual, emerging from the
domination of nature in the historical process of civilisation,
hopes to find his/her own self-preservation in the death of the
animal, or even to circumvent his/her own death. Animal research
laboratories and slaughterhouses are the sacrificial alters of old
and new. The injustice of the violence against animals reinterpreted
as the right of people to self-preservation makes any objection
appear dumb and unsocial. The "universal solidarity" demanded by
Critical Theory is reduced to the solidarity group of human society
- admittedly existing there in appearance only. Those excluded from
society are stigmatised as Other, whose inclusion in the idea of
universal solidarity endangers the outer boundaries of repressive
society. Anyone proclaiming solidarity with the excluded or
alienated becomes himself or herself "unreasonable", "other" or a
"risk". The mere existence of the Other involves risk because it
shows the other possibility, which is denied by the absolute system,
in order to stabilise itself. "The existence of one solitary
'unreasonable' man elucidates the shame of the entire nation. His
existence testifies to the relativity of the system of radical self-
preservation that has been posited as absolute."7

From this point of view, Critical Theory explains why the presence
of animal liberationists at the dining table is an annoyance. The
dining party, a micro-social image of society, replicates the ritual
of nature domination, in this case, the subjugation of the animal
individual as a "sacrificial animal" through the consumption of
this. As "condensed symbols"8, meat and the other "animal products",
reflect the power of human society over "the animal".9 Anyone
refusing complicity to power over animals abnegates the
interspecific power structures. Anyone not eating meat (or other
parts of animals' bodies) does not get a seat at the same table.
This explains society's disapproval of vegans, why they are imputed
variously of militancy, illness or bad taste, because they so
vividly prove, and therefore make undeniable, the possibility of a
life without animal victims, and therefore endanger the spell, the
"fetish character of [the animal] merchandise".10 If the 'commodity,
animal' is deconstructed, its character as a thing is shown to be an
objectification of social conditions and interests. The everyday
practice of consuming parts of the animal's body, its historical
permanence and totality, barely allow a critical reflection - the
consciousness is so habitualised, the behaviour towards animals as
resources at disposal for human purposes is too ground in, the
social order of human-animal relationships is too immune against
objections or changes. In the words of the Frankfurter School, the
release of consciousness from eversameness - here, the attack on
animal individuals - is hindered.

The naturalisation of social power veils its constructed character.
The dissociation from the "other animal" would not be bound so
tightly, not be so permanent, were it carried out only cognitively.
The codification of the human-animal dichotomy benefits from the
social processes, which Bourdieu described as the "somatization of
the social relations of domination". Through a "stroke of violence
of the social world", individuals' bodies are "virtually engrained
with a perception, value and action programme" that "functions like
a second nature, i.e. with the authoritative and (apparently) blind
force of the constructed drive or phantasma. Through a "coup de
force, the social world" inscribes itself in individuals' bodies in
form of " a real programme of perception, appreciation and action"
that "functions like a (second, cultivated) nature, i.e. with the
authoritative and (apparently) blind force of the (constructed)
drive or phantasma."11 The schemes of perception, value and action of
the social world, to which human individuals prereflexively
subordinate their socialised bodies12, are provided by "legitimatory
machineries of maintainance"13, e.g. theoretical conceptions. The
extent to which the prevailing theoretic concepts, which, in social
sciences especially, and to some extent in philosophy and the
natural sciences, position "human" and "animal" antithetically are
distorted because usually "he (the analyst) is liable to use as
instruments of knowledge schemes of perception and thought which he
ought to treat as objects of knowledge"14 is an issue Bourdieu raised
in another context. The categories applied have always drawn up the
boundary between "the humans" and "the animals", because it is a
social one. Of course, animal, like human individuals are not
identical. But an "emancipated society (...) would be (...) the
realization of universality in the reconciliation of differences";
and therefore, as Adorno said, would be "one in which one could be
different without fear".15

Since animal individuals, as opposed to humans, do not internalise
the social constraints of human society, the constraints on them are
purely external and therefore especially violent. (...)

The animal individual is de-individualised, anonymised, quantified;
and finally disembodied, cut up, prepared; every referral point to a
"someone" is thus annihilated and "something" is produced. Complex
chains of action and the fragmentation of action sequences in a
functionally differentiated society render an attribution of
responsibility unclear. The act of violence becomes adiaphric,
indifferent, irrelevant; possible "moral impulses and evaluation
standards of agents, inflamed by the act of violence are neutralised
as far as possible."16

In his essay, Materialism and Moral, Max Horkheimer formulated the
aim of bringing to light the "objective" of the interests, which lie
behind the social norms, and to demonstrate in how far these
interests promote or hinder a rational society.17 For its own part,
this society can only be conceived of as the negation of the
existing, that which is bad, negative; without the possibility of it
being reconciled to something positive: "Even in extremis a negated
negative is not a positive."18
"Because the "absolute Other", as Horkheimer sees rational society,
must be produced by social subjects within the process of history -
since they are themselves entangled in this - yet history itself,
due to its "total decay", cannot deliver any orientation for action;
only critical reflection about existing society in contrast to the
imagined rational form of society remains an option. This is to be
reflected upon on the basis of the available possibilities, e.g.
technological and scientific potential.19

The potentialities of the current global human community hereby
deprive the exploitation of animals of the reasons given for its
necessity - to alleviate hardship and to enable self-assertion - and
unmask animal exploitation for what it is: a business.

However, contrary to Adorno and Horkheimer's pessimism of ever being
able to substantiate the contents of a rational practice, this is
characterised by the declaration of that what it has to negate in
each of the social and historical realities, which then urges
towards overcoming these practically: "It is possible to identify
the bad of the prevailing society but not a praxis leading to change
towards something good. But it is only possible to labour that
finally the bad will distinguish."20
Or as Marcuse put it more explicitly: "The elimination of violence,
and the reduction of suppression to the extent required for
protecting man and animals from cruelty and aggression are
preconditions for the creation of a humane society."21
And elsewhere: "[...] the experience and understanding of the
existent society may well be capable of identifying what is not
conducive to a free and rational society [...]. Freedom is
liberation, a specific historical process in theory and practice,
and as such it has its right and wrong, its truth and falsehood."22

How is a general interest in the liberation of animals from the
structures of violence of the speciesist society to be generated,
since animals cannot be subjects of their own liberation due to
their real powerlessness? Their powerlessness is total and therefore
so terribly cruel. No dissent with which they can confront societies
stories, no deed with which they can escape the violent hand of the
animal exploiting industries. Animals cannot even conceive of there
being people who are fighting in solidarity with them and for their
liberation. No protest, no resistance, no getting away, no concrete
hope - totalitarian unfreedom and powerlessness. Animals are subject
to the absolute force of human domination; the force is, as already
mentioned, external and not internalised. For that reason, animals
are in chains that are entirely material. For them, the society of
humans, in any of its historical forms, was never one, which would
have freed them from the fears of the so-called natural condition:
the constant latent threat to life and limb. Human society is for
them this "natural condition". Within it most animals are in
absolute danger. In this social reality, however, it is a danger
that no longer comprises the extreme situation, but everyday
normality, that which is, for the individual animals affected by the
violence, the ultimate, the worst evil.

The constant pain inflicted on or expected by so-called livestock
animals, the isolation, leads to imprisoned animals becoming
completely lethargic or to mania, as can be observed in most modern
animal prisons. Finally, outwardly regarded, it leads to
annihilation of the animals' individuality: their consisting of pain
and suffering inwardly equals the loss of their delimitation
outwardly. Blurring the boundaries, animals are made to fit in the
social environment so that their bodies seem to be one with it:
appear to be an amorphous "biomass" in the great outdoors or in
"animal rearing units" at one with the cage bars, with the stalls,
with the fabric of animal exploitation, which viewed from outside
makes up the body of the "animal machine". Present, animals become
absent, their bodies disappear; begin to in the "keeping of animals"
and definitively in the cruel torture of vivisection, in slaughter
and hunting etc. In institutionalised animal exploitation (as
opposed to private violence against animals) the torture23 of their
bodies and minds is not the end but the means - to keep the material
of false progress and to continually oppress animals.

Where violence is ubiquitary, the extreme state of emergency is
socially repealed; tyranny is clothed as law and order. Violence
against animals is semantically renamed as production, research,
conservation, zoo or show, the act of violence linguistically
neutralised to avoid scandalising, dramatising and ultimately

As the true being of animal individuals, as opposed to their
capacity for suffering (...) cannot be directly experienced, only
refraining from all deliberate curtailment of individual animals'
freedom by humans remains as the obligation to the truth in all
human-animal relationships. The animal individual must remain an
"unavailable entity"25 because every determination of its being and
its will would be violence against it. The rejection of
institutional violence against animals means eliminating social
coercion against animals. The domination over animals is a
historical reality, and a catastrophe, not the natural laws of

The banishment of animals from social-political considerations in
all affirmative theories, despite its literal socialisation [...],
is justified by the trick of a change of perspective: that from the
state of society that has just been described, to the "state of
nature". The "state of nature" in which they could defend
themselves, at least an imagined symmetry, or at any rate chaos in
which they could save their own skins has been abolished; at the
same time, in these societal conditions, animals are still being
treated and combated as "wolves of the natural condition", although
they have long been defenceless. (...)

The living reality of animals is now one that is always formed by
humans; a spatial beyond no longer exists, and always was seldom.
Humans and animals have always been inhabitants of the same spaces,
always contemporaries of a shared history, even if it is one that
has mainly been imposed on animals. Through the existing
entanglement of a so-called natural-geographic environment and the
social organisation and culture of societies, but above all through
the omnipresence of the destructiveness of capitalism and
imperialism - in whatever historical form it appears - and a global
dereliction of all beauty, animals are nowhere "untouched" by the
social; as animals they remain within a society of humans. As their
legitimate freedom and their abilities must be made possible and
animals must have the potential to realise freedom, in this
"administered world" animals are mainly dependent on people's
cooperation - solidarity and the provision of possibilities.

Techniques of dissociation and desensitising of speciesist society
shatter a practice in solidarity with animals. If the injustice
towards animals does become too clear for a moment, penetrates too
deeply into the consciousness, so that cognitive dissonance26 and
emotional disturbance eliminate the mindlessness normally used to
gaze past the suffering of animals, the speciesist institutions send
forth their demagogy to set things right again with the help of
myths. One is the Lupus Myth, the admonition to the "natural state",
in which the human and mouse and all were against all wolves, in
which constant fear of death and the merciless fight for existence
reigned. And yet even the wolf himself was never a true wolf.
Harking back to the Lupus Myth, the mass media reports of "killer
sharks", "killer minks", "devil dogs", "flying vermin" and the
"problem bear". The fear of the ungoverned calls for control/order.
The animal "monster" has to be created, in order to keep the
emotional, cognitive and social distance from the animal and not to
place the sacrifice of animals into doubt. "The animal to be
devoured must be evil", according to Adorno, "the not-I, l'autrui
[French: the others], all that reminds us of nature is inferior, so
the unity of the self-preserving thought may devour it without

Every single attack by an animal individual against a human one gets
generalised to an attack of "the animals" on humanity, which
justifies the total violent access of social institutions on every
animal individual, like an equivalent exchange of mortal fears,
which in reality is extremely asymmetric. A dog bite legitimates a
whole era of animal suffering, which every day is a dies ater. (...)
In this (...) deceit of the animal, his potential threat is used
against him to deny him solidarity, although just before, a lack of
potential threat was alleged, which excluded animals as addressees
of justice. In actual fact, animals are only seldom a threat; all
the slaves in the animal factories and laboratories are obviously
none. Anyone who seriously claims to be threatened in body or soul
by even one of the hecatombs of chickens, cattle, fish, mice, guinea
pigs ... that are second for second violently exterminated by
society stupefies his or her self and insults the intelligence of
others'. Most animals practice a refusal to kill de facto.

The Enlightenment must (...) be fully thought out, brought to its
identity, also on the animals' terms, because the true thought
insists on this. And it is therefore duty in the fight for animal
rights and liberation to remember the ideas of the Enlightenment and
to demand these for peaceable human-animal relations; concretely
that means to demand freedom for animals (as the absence of violence
and annihilation through humans as well as of unreasonable
restrictions of freedom) and solidarity with animals (as active
partiality and assistance, especially in defending their lives and
their freedom in the sense of solidarity). With the negation of
animal exploitation, the goal of animal liberation, as a demand
critical of domination, must be brought on the way to a complete
upheaval of the existing bad whole in order to achieve the promise
of a rational society, as is promised in nature. That this promise
does not apply to animals is an axiomatic aberration of affirmative
theory against animals, which, as already stated, mostly holds dear
the reciprocity postulate (animals don't recognise the rights of
humans either), or constructs lifeboat cases: the boat is too small
and one has to get out - "human" or "animal"? These scenarios, which
always drift past reality - humans do not die or become ill when
there are no more slaughterhouses or animal research laboratories -
have become general knowledge: "Should testing be done on humans (or
even children) then?" Lifeboat cases hardly ever exist in the
reality of human-animal relationships - there is no human adversity
that requires a sacrificial animal for its alleviation. These are
not, as the image of the lifeboat might suggest, decisions of
particular, hopeless situations, which demand either/or decisions.
Hence they cannot be generalised or boiled down to plain recipe
knowledge. The boat is always too small for the humans, whose
innermost - their wishes, needs, feelings, and imagination - has
been narrowed by society; and the construed Strangers, human or
animal, get thrown overboard. Because human individuals have the
potential to build larger, or a larger number, of boats, or ones
that don't sink as easily, also more beautiful boats, the
hopelessness of escape from the Enlightenment's dialectic is all the
more incomprehensible and unacceptable.

As the suffering of all "torturable bodies" is objective, the
cessation of deliberately inflicted suffering is not an actionistic
Odyssey, which elevates its means to a fetish, as Adorno criticised
of pseudo-activity28, but as praxis preceded by reflection upon its
purposes. With the direct closure of animal exploitation
enterprises, the disposal of the executioner's tools, the
destruction of the killing machinery, the act(-)ual opening of
shackles and cages, not only has a means to negate animal
exploitation been described, but the rational has actually been
reached: liberation.

As shown at the beginning, the structures of domination are
inscribed on the body. And with the body, comes a possible boundary
of negation. The incorporation of the fundamental structures of a
society, the "second nature" may be negated, but not the "first
nature", the body itself, for otherwise it would become nothing. The
body is always something positive. Therefore, there is at least the
possibility to offer the body, freed from violent influences, as a
positive statement about "rational society". And because of the fact
that societal force against the bodies of animals is applied
externally, as stated earlier, and does not become "second nature"
to them, the animal individual (as opposed to humans) becomes
liberated from society's coercion the moment that the mechanisms of
violence are halted and it is freed from its cage. Therefore,
contrary to Adorno's denial, even in the prevailing bad whole,
certain particulars can be turned to good, even though in view of
the gigantic size of the "existing negatives" the particular may
seem marginal; for the individual animals it is everything: their
lives. The destruction of their bodies could not be reversed; their
bodies could not be substituted. The liberation of their bodies
makes animals differentiable, truly individual, present. And, as
physically present, they are witness to all the suffering that is
inflicted on them; the "coup de force of the social world" is made
visible on their bodies, and thereby perceptible and protestable.
This is one reason why the state authorities, accomplices of the
animal exploitation industry, pursue so repressively activists who
directly liberate animals from cages.29 Animal liberationists reverse
the previously described anonymisation of the victims and
perpetrators, break the spell of reification, re-establish the
relation of, recreate the points of reference, and name those
responsible. Animal exploitation no longer appears as an
unchangeable state of affairs, but an affair with perpetrators and
victims. The animal victim loses its status as a commodity: that
animal "thing" becomes a "being" and, recognised as such, all the
still-imprisoned "beings" urge for their liberation.

First published in "Das steinerne Herz der Unendlichkeit erweichen",
Ed. Susann Witt-Stahl, Alibri Verlag, 2007, pp. 310-343.


1 Max Horkheimer, "The End of Reason", Studies in Philosophy and Social Science Vol. IX, 3, 1941, p. 387.

2 That "for the Critical Theory [... the] universal-emancipatory orientation" is constituative that recognised animal individuals explicitly [...]
as oppressed, exploited and degraded by society and its structures of power and violence - and did not use animals only as metaphors for
"human distress" is something Birgit Mütherich discussed in detail (Birgit Mütherich, Die Problematik der Mensch-Tier-Beziehung in der
Soziologie: Weber, Marx und die Frankfurter Schule, Münster 2000, p.150ff)

3 Herbert Marcuse, , p.251.One Dimensional Man:. Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society, London, 1964, p 240.

4 Max Horkheimer, cited by:Carl-Friedrich Geyer, Kritische Theorie: Max Horkheimer und Theodor W. Adorno, Freiburg i.Br/Munich 1982, p.66.

5 Max Horkheimer/Theodor W. Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment. Philosophical Fragments,

6 Ibid

7 Max Horkheimer, The End of Reason, Studies in Philosophy and Social Science Vol. IX, 3, 1941, p. 385.

8 Mary Douglas, Natural Symbols: Explorations in Cosmology, London, 1996

9 Nick Fiddes, Meat: A Natural Symbol, London. 1991

10 Theodor W. Adorno, Negative Dialectics, transl. by E.B. Ashton, London 1973, p. 346. Part III. Models. World-spirit and Natural History.
Excursus on Hegel,

11 Pierre Bourdieu, Die männliche Herrschaft", in Ein alltägliches Spiel, Irene Dölling/Beate Krais (eds.), Frankfurt/Main 1997, p.168

12 Ibid, p. 165

13 Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge, New York 1966

14 Pierre Bourdieu, Masculine Domination, California, 2001, p. 115

15 Theodor W.Adorno, Minima Moralia, Reflexionen aus dem beschädigten Leben, in his Gesammelte Schriften, Rolf Tiedemann (ed.) and
Gretel Adorno/Susan Buck-Morss/Klaus Schultz, Frankfurt a.Main 2003, 4, p.116

16 The term "adiaphorising" was coined by Zygmunt Baumann, quoted in Rainer E. Wiedenmann, "Die Fremdheit der Tiere. Zum Wandel der
Ambivalenz von Mensch-Tier-Beziehungen" ,in: Tiere und Menschen. Geschichte und Aktualität eines prekären Verhältnisses, Paul Münch/
Rainer Walz Eds., Paderborn, 2nd edition,1999, p.375.

17 See Geyer, Kritische Theorie, p. 121, note 4

18 Theodor W. Adorno, Negative Dialectics, transl. by E.B. Ashton, London 1973, p. 393

19 See Reinhard Kager, Herrschaft und Versöhnung, Einführung in das Denken Theodor W. Adornos, Frankfurt a. Main/New York 1988, p.87.
Horkheimer also speaks of "boundless torture [of animals] performed without a break in the middle of society" (Max Horkheimer, "Erinnerung", in:
Das Recht der Tiere, issue 1/2, Munich 1959, p.7, quoted in Mütherich, Die Problematik der Mensch-Tier- Beziehung in der Soziologie, [see note 2].

20 Max Horkheimer, "Kritische Theorie gestern und heute" in his Gesellschaft im Übergang. Aufsätze, Reden und Vorträge 1942-70, Ed. Werner
Brede, Frankfurt am Main 1972, p.164

21 Herbert Marcuse, "Repressive Tolerance", in Wolf, Moore, Marcuse, A Critique of Pure Tolerance, Boston 1969, p. 82

22 Ibid, p. 87

23 Horkheimer also spoke of an "excess of torture (of animals) constantly committed amid society"

24 Cf. Peter Imbusch, "Der Gewaltbegriff", in Internationales Handbuch der Gewaltforschung, Ed. Wilhelm Heitmeyer/John Hagen, Wiesbaden 2002,
p. 52. Cf also Michael Fischer, "Mensch-Tier-Vergleiche und die Skandalisierung von Gewalt" in: Kriminologisches Journal, 33/1, 2001, pp. 2-6

25 The idea of the "unavailable" is based on Annette Barkhaus und Anne Fleig gebraucht (Annette Barkhaus/Anne Fleig, "Körperdimensionen oder
die unmögliche Rede von Unverfügbarem", in Grenzverläufe. Der Körper als Schnittstelle, Ed. Barkhaus/Fleig, Munich 2002, pp.20-23).

26 The term "cognitive dissonance" comes from Leon Feistinger's Psychological Dissonance theory (1957).

27 Theodor W. Adorno, Negative Dialectics, transl. by E.B. Ashton, London 1973, pp.22f.

28 Theodor W. Adorno, "Catchwords, Critical Models 2", in his Critical Models: Interventions and Catchwords, transl. and with a preface by
Henry W. Pickford, New York 1998, p.269.

29 The rage against the animal victim, which was explained elsewhere, is now directed against animal rights activists and animal liberationists -
they are "monsters", "terrorists". In the USA a federal law was passed to protect animal exploitation businesses, the Animal Enterprise Protection
Act, which pursues every successful attempt to cause animal exploiters economic damage, e.g. through the direct liberation of animals, as "Animal
Enterprise Terrorism" (Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992. Public Law 102-346-Aug., 1992, 102nd US Congress, in

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